Aanischaaukamikq Cree Cultural Institute

Client: Cree Nation

Location: Ouje-Bougoumou, Quebec

Area: 2800 sq. m.

Cost: 11 Million

Following the success of the Ouje-Bougoumou Village, the community and larger Cree nations of northern Quebec envisioned a centre of identity. The Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute was proposed, to be built close to the village core of Ouje-Bougoumou on a sloping site overlooking the cultural and ceremonial grounds at the center of the village.

The building's unique design is composed of a dramatic sloping roof starting close to the earth. This not only creates a human character and scale to the building, but also articulates a response to the natural environment that the Cree people so desired. The sloping roof intersects with another roof emulating the traditional “shaptwam” building form. This form, with its high sloped ceilings and an array clerestories, allows main public spaces to blend with administrative, support, and service spaces in a very organic and efficient manner.

Architecturally, the Cree Cultural Institute integrates the principles set forth in the original village master plan created by Douglas Cardinal and the Cree community. This plan expresses the Indigenous character of the inhabitants while establishing a state of the art facility to house, express and cultivate Cree culture for all of the James Bay Cree people and visitors of non-Indigenous descent.